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Airport offers final chance for public...

Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 19:51:04-05

Neighbors in Boise’s Bench near the airport are up in arms over a noise study that shows a heavy impact from military jets. They'll have one more chance to tell airport leaders how they feel before the study wraps up.

The A-10 Warthog is scheduled to retire in 2020 and for those living near the airport speculation on what the future flying mission will be is causing a stir. Should the relatively quiet A-10 be replaced by the noisy F-15 or F-35 residents fear life would be a headache.

"To have to cover your ears just to go out for a walk is silly," said Kim Hoppie.

Hoppie has lived near the airport for a decade. She's worried about what the study shows.

We looked at it, and found the noise would hit 65 decibels - about the sound of a vacuum cleaner going off in a room.

"Immediately, this close to the runway, it's a problem,” said Hoppie.  “But city-wide it will be a problem if they don't figure out how to mitigate the impact."

While concern for future military activity is understandable, an airport spokesman says it isn't relevant to this study.

"This noise study is for land planning and noise mitigation purposes,” said Boise Airport marketing manager Sean Briggs. “It doesn't have anything to do with an F-15 or an F-35 basing decision. That's completely done by the Air Force."

The study will help developers. The city could take it to the Air Force as additional information.

But the military will still have to go through its own process - should they pursue basing out of Gowen Field. That means unique environment impact studies, public comment, and deliberations.

Neighbors and city leaders have raised the idea of developing a third runway that louder jets could use. That wasn't included in the noise study because its scope only looks through the next five years - in which time a new runway would likely not be completed.

To give your public comment you can attend the meeting tomorrow at 5:30 at the airport in the River Conference Room.